Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Shine the Light on Me

Not long ago I noticed a little uptick in traffic to this blog, which corresponded to the time when two strange comments were left by an "anonymous" poster.

Usually a bump in traffic means someone linked to my site. Curious, I checked the logs, and lo and behold, found the source -- and the likely identity of the "anonymous" poster.

I was linked to by a thread at the Democratic Underground forum, and they like me, they really like me!


Ha ha. Must've touched a nerve.

Their comment thread about me is entitled,
Yet another scumbucket rightwing blog
First I'll explain the "odd" comments that got me wondering. One was a snarky line that implied the "real" threat to our liberties comes from Catholics, rather than jihadists following islam.

The other comment I deleted because it was an obvious "Moby" comment, i.e. the poster was attempting to impersonate what they imagined a far-right reader might say, and left a deliberately extreme statement, assuming I'd agree with it and leave it on the site -- then they could point to that and say, "see how bigoted these conservatives are!"

It was clearly a set-up.

And I do not agree with it at all either.

Because I can give some context, I will reproduce it here; it was left on this posting about how well the Canadian armed forces are doing in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan:
canadian soldiers are cool
they remind me of the south. love guns, god and women. hate gays and lesbians. there are none in there military. they beat em down.
Yeah, right, like I might think that "hating gays and lesbians" is "cool." See, just because I disagree with the social utility of same-sex marriage, then by left-wing anointed-victim-group identity-politics, I am therefore a bigot, a racist, etc.

My objection must, in their mind, have nothing to do with rational arguments, and everything to do with bias. Any objection to anything their pet special-interest lobbies desire is read as due to personal hatred of the members of the group, rather than an objection to the policy on its merits.

This is pure social coercion.

It's handy to frame things that way if you want lockstep groupthink.

It's politics by peer-pressure.

One thing I could never abide was peer-pressure, and this blog is one way I speak out against it by taking anti-PC positions.

So I deleted that comment.

But if you go look at the thread where they talk about me, you can see these people have real problems with simple reading comprehension.

Take the quote from Ann Coulter I use on my masthead, right at the top of this page under my blog title. The initiator of this thread, by the name of "EstimatedProphet", who is likely my "anonymous" commenter, says:
Even quotes Coultergeist's invocation to kill all Middle Easterners in the title

Where does it say all???

Coulter's quote clearly says kill their leaders, not "kill all Middle Easterners."


It's one single simple sentence, and he can't even get that right!

I mean, if we killed them all, who would be left to convert to Christianity, which is the whole last third of the statement?

Furthermore, why don't they support the killing of the leaders who run repressive terror regimes, where gay people are being literally stoned to death and women who aren't modest enough are beaten, raped, and hanged?

As a matter of standard policy?

Instead, their outrage is directed at me, the imaginary bigot. I think the real enemy is too scary for them to face; they can't handle the Truth.

So therefore, apparently my blog is "good for a laugh", and the purpose of that thread was for "shining light on cockroaches."

This is a perfect example of blind prejudice, where the subconscious of the left-winger sees what it imagines I wrote in spite of the evidence in clear black-and-white, and is clearly operating in a world outside of reality, by getting that simple quote wrong and erroneously imputing gay-hating motives to me.

Talk about stereotyping!

I really wish the opposition would grow up and get beyond the 2000 elections.

As a small-c "conservative" -- or am I a small-l "liberal"? -- I am not a straight-Republican voter. My favored mode of governance is partisan gridlock in times of peace, and partisan unity in times of war -- like now.

One party doesn't have all the answers, and it would be great if a true loyal opposition, that understood the threat, was providing real discussion to sharpen our thinking on strategy, instead of relying on stupid ankle-biting defeatist slogans and "gotcha" political maneuvering.

It's bad for civic morale.

Wake up and smell the jihad!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Infallibility Strawman

There goes the media (AFP) again! Setting up a ridiculously misinformed strawman argument to slam the Pope's criticism of islam:
LONDON, England (AFP) - Yusuf Islam, the British singer known as Cat Stevens before his conversion to Islam, added to the criticism of Pope Benedict XVI's recent remarks about the religion.

Islam, known for his 1970s hits including "Father And Son" and "Wild World," [and also known for supporting the death decree on Salman Rushdie, but the AFP neglects to mention that -- ed.] said that the pope quoting from a medieval text which attacks some of the Prophet Mohammed's teachings as "evil and inhuman" showed the pontiff was not infallible.

Roman Catholic theology says that the pope cannot err in teachings on faith or morals.
NO, it DOES NOT say that! Not everything the Pope says is considered infallible.

In fact, hardly anything any Pope has ever said is considered infallible.

Sloppy reporting? Or intentional obtuseness? I think it's deliberate misreporting in order to make Catholics look bad.

Because it's so obviously wrong.

The report continues, to drive the point home:
In an interview with BBC television, Islam said that he went to a Catholic school, "so at one point I used to believe that the Pope was infallible."

But he added that the pope's comments on Islam showed he was fallible
No, it shows nothing of the kind.

First, his comments on islam were correct, proven so by the violent responses worldwide.

Second, here are the rules on infallibility from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
-- infallibility is not attributed to every doctrinal act of the pope, but only to his ex cathedra teaching; and the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are mentioned in the Vatican decree:

1. The pontiff must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians, not merely in his private capacity as a theologian, preacher or allocutionist, nor in his capacity as a temporal prince or as a mere ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal.

2. Then it is only when, in this capacity, he teaches some doctrine of faith or morals that he is infallible (see below, IV).

3. Further it must be sufficiently evident that he intends to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority...

4. Finally for an ex cathedra decision it must be clear that the pope intends to bind the whole Church. To demand internal assent from all the faithful to his teaching under pain of incurring spiritual shipwreck (naufragium fidei) according to the expression used by Pius IX in defining the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin.
So the Pope has to say a specific statement is an ex cathedra teaching for it to be held infallible, and this has only been done so a handful of times in the last 2000 years, on very basic and fundamental points of Catholic theological doctrine, such as to affirm the Immaculate Conception.

The article goes on to stress that:
It need only be added here that not everything in a conciliar or papal pronouncement, in which some doctrine is defined, is to be treated as definitive and infallible. For example, in the lengthy Bull of Pius IX defining the Immaculate Conception the strictly definitive and infallible portion is comprised in a sentence or two; and the same is true in many cases in regard to conciliar decisions.
We mean in other words that the Church is infallible in her objective definitive teaching regarding faith and morals, not that believers are infallible in their subjective interpretation of her teaching. This is obvious in the case of individuals, any one of whom may err in his understanding of the Church's teaching; nor is the general or even unanimous consent of the faithful in believing a distinct and independent organ of infallibility.
Let's look once more at this Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, and see what the AFP didn't find worthy of noting.

I recall when Rushdie was condemded to die for offending islam, that Cat Stevens, when asked his opinion of the matter, replied, "whoever defames the Prophet must die."

This is his official statement about that incident, from his own website:
By Yusuf Islam
March 2nd, 1989

Under Islamic Law, the ruling regarding blasphemy is quite clear; the person found guilty of it must be put to death. Only under certain circumstances can repentance be accepted.

On 21st February, I was speaking to a group of students at the Kingston Polytechnic, and in response to a question, I simply stated the Islamic ruling on the Rushdie affair. Suddenly. my picture was splashed on the front page of newspapers all over the world next to the headline: 'Kill Rushdie says Cat Stevens'. It is very sad to see such irresponsibility from the 'free press' and I am totally abhorred.

My only crime was, I suppose, in being honest. I stood up and expressed my belief and I am in no way apologizing for it. I expressed the Islamic view based on the Qur'an, the Prophet's sayings (peace and blessings be upon him) and the rulings of the Caliphs and renowned schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
The fact is that as far as the application of Islamic Law and the implementation of full Islamic way of life in Britain is concerned, Muslims realize that there is very little chance of that happening in the near future. But that shouldn't stop us from trying to improve the situation and presenting the Islamic viewpoint wherever and whenever possible. That is the duty of ever Muslim and that is what I did.
And anyone listens to this guy? As an authority on Papal infallibility?

More Anti-PC News

More good news from the standing-up-against-political-correctness front.

This also doubles as good news from the popular-culture front, in terms of the attitudinal zeitgeist.

Mockery of the jihad drives them nuts:
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A car dealership's planned radio advertisement that declared "a jihad on the automotive market" has drawn sharp criticism for its content but will not be changed, the business said Saturday.

Several stations rejected the Dennis Mitsubishi spot, which says sales representatives wearing "burqas" — head-to-toe traditional dress for Islamic women — will sell vehicles that can "comfortably seat 12 jihadists in the back."

"Our prices are lower than the evildoers' every day. Just ask the pope!" the ad says. "Friday is fatwa Friday, with free rubber swords for the kiddies." A fatwa is a religious edict.

Dealership president Keith Dennis said the ad does not disrespect any religion or culture. He said it was "fair game" to poke "a little fun at radical extremists."

"It was our intention to craft something around some of the buzzwords of the day and give everyone a good chuckle and be a little bit of a tension reliever," he said.
Well, it sure made me laugh!

CAIR is complaining, but nobody cares.

World Wide Web of Jihad

Here's a quick-and-dirty diagram I sketched up, to show roughly the present state of the interconnections of the worldwide jihad movement.

Click on it for an enlarged view.

Arrows show the directional flow of products or control; key inputs and outputs of each entity.

Solid Lines are existing; Dashed Lines show connections that are strengthening or in progress.

Red Lines are connections that existed but have been broken so far in the counterstruggle.

Blue Lines show connections that are weakening, either due to diplomacy, law enforcement, ongoing military action, technological advances, or simply the march of time.

Most of those important Red Lines are actually a result of the Iraq invasion.

Note the Green Circle that marks the Nexus that must not be allowed to occur: the joining of A-Bombs to Jihadists, as that will lead directly to The End of Life As We Know It.

Note how much trouble Iran is making, but see also that its supports are weakening. All that is propping it up is money from oil exports and energy from gasoline imports (Iran is too backward to refine its own gasoline).

Cut the gasoline in or the oil out -- which is rather simple to do with a naval blockade, military interdiction, and sanctions -- and the entity withers quickly.

That Iranian Dotted Line to the A-Bombs must turn red very soon!

Note also that Saudi Arabia is a key instigator, that also depends on people paying it for the oil extracted from territory nominally under its control, which is an Achilles' heel if I ever saw one.

This diagram indicates that neutering both Iran and Saudi Arabia by cutting their cashflow from oil will significantly reduce the resources going to Jihadists, and remove a new and volatile source of A-bombs.

See too the solid lines from North Korea and Pakistan to the A-bombs -- that is extremely troubling. The first regime is deterrable but desperate for cash; the second is inherently unstable and one bullet away from delivering a small atomic arsenal directly to the jihadists.

The gut says, one way or another, North Korea, Pakistan, and possibly Iraq are not going to survive as distinct countries for very much longer: NK will be absorbed and the other two will dissolve. Parts of Turkey and/or Iran will merge with a new independent Kurdistan.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hope For Sweden?

Sweden and the Netherlands seemed to be in a race as to which national identity would disappear first, its socialist handout policies overwhelmed by an unchecked wave of unassimilated muslim immigrants, against which nobody could speak in a stifling PC atmosphere.

But perhaps there is hope for Sweden, though this is just the first step.

In a totally surprise outcome today, the ruling socialist party is suddenly out after 12 years!
Swedish opposition ousts government
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - A center-right opposition vowing to streamline Sweden's famed welfare state ousted the Social Democratic government in a close parliamentary election Sunday, ending 12 years of leftist rule in the Nordic nation.

Prime Minister Goran Persson, who had governed for 10 years, conceded defeat and said his Cabinet would resign after the Social Democratic Party's worst election result in decades.

With 99.7 percent of districts counted, the four-party opposition alliance led by Fredrik Reinfeldt had 48.1 percent of the votes, compared with 46.2 percent for the Social Democrats and their two supporting parties.

"It was team work that helped us win," Reinfeldt said in a victory speech to jubilant supporters in downtown Stockholm.

Persson said Sweden's social model — a market economy blended with a high-tax welfare state — was at stake in the election. But the opposition led by Reinfeldt's Moderate Party insisted it would not dismantle the system but help it survive by promoting jobs over welfare handouts.

The results showed the Moderates with 26.1 percent, a strong gain from 2002 when it won only 15 percent of the vote. After taking over the party leadership in 2003, Reinfeldt, 41, steered the party toward the center by toning down its conservative polices.

"We dared to challenge ourselves, we dared to admit our faults," Reinfeldt said. "That renewal has not just begun, it will continue into the future."

Final official results were expected Wednesday, but were unlikely to change the outcome.

The Social Democrats had only 35.3 percent, which if confirmed would be the party's worst showing in parliamentary elections since 1914.
Leftists defeated, by wafer-thin margins, in Mexico and now Sweden.

It was thought by many that their handout policies would buy votes; that too many people would be afraid of losing their slice of the pie through any "reform":
Sweden is a small country. The 9 million inhabitants do not constitute more than 0.14% of the world’s population. The immigrant population amounts to just over 2 million, or 22% of the entire population....

Approximately 5,310,000 or 59% of the population belong to the fit-for-work age group 20-64. Of these approx. 4,050,000 are working. More than a million people do not work; that is, either they have not got a job, are studying, are unable to work, are sick, disabled or just “damn lazy”. Why work when the benefit per day is just $10-15 lower than the work wage?
340,000 immigrants have such poor knowledge of Swedish that they find it impossible to function fullly in society. 20,000 of those who have come to Sweden the last 20 years have such serious reading/writing difficulties that they should be considered as illiterates. Less than half of those who have been granted residence permits start their free (but not yet(!) compulsory) course in Swedish for Immigrants (SFI ) within a year. 40% of the SFI-pupils are shirking the Swedish language training.
The sitting Swedish Social Democratic Government tries to remain in power by appealing to all recipients of public welfare (with Swedish as well as with foreign background). With the prominent help of their supporting two sects, the Greens and the Lefts, they are fleecing the working Swedes to maintain a big sponging immigrant population. Swedish society can probably be fleeced at least for another one or two voting periods. Generous welfare benefits attract more and more people and when the share of the idle population grows big enough, the tax burden for the remaining work-force must make working become unprofitable. Hopefully this will soon happen and cause the system to collapse.
Happened earlier than expected.

Now, let's see what they do.

Australia Reads Riot Act

Normally, this is not what one expects to hear from an official "multicultural spokesman"!
AUSTRALIA'S Muslim leaders have been "read the riot act" over the need to denounce any links between Islam and terrorism.

The Howard Government's multicultural spokesman, Andrew Robb, yesterday told an audience of 100 imams who address Australia's mosques that these were tough times requiring great personal resolve.

Mr Robb also called on them to shun a victim mentality that branded any criticism as discrimination.

"We live in a world of terrorism where evil acts are being regularly perpetrated in the name of your faith," Mr Robb said at the Sydney conference.

"And because it is your faith that is being invoked as justification for these evil acts, it is your problem.

"You can't wish it away, or ignore it, just because it has been caused by others.

"Instead, speak up and condemn terrorism, defend your role in the way of life that we all share here in Australia."
Rather blunt! Excellent.
Mr Robb said unless Muslims took responsibility for their destiny and tackled the causes of terrorism, Australia would become divided.

Mr Robb, the parliamentary secretary for immigration and multicultural affairs, said it was important for migrants to learn English.

"I see as critical the need for imams to have effective English language skills -- it is a self-evident truth that a shared language is one of the foundations of national cohesion," he said.
Nice turn of phrase there at the end.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Civilization Politically Impossible?

What a surprise:
A HARDLINE cleric linked to Somalia’s powerful Islamist movement has called for Muslims to “hunt down” and kill Pope Benedict XVI for his controversial comments about Islam.
“We urge you Muslims wherever you are to hunt down the Pope for his barbaric statements [oh, that's rich... -- ed.] as you have pursued Salman Rushdie, the enemy of Allah who offended our religion,” he said in Friday evening prayers.

“Whoever offends our Prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim,” Malin, a prominent cleric in the Somali capital, told worshippers at a mosque in southern Mogadishu.
We hear this phrase a lot, don't we? That's nearly exactly what Cat "Peace Train" Stevens, now known as Yusef Islam after his "reversion" (not conversion, they consider everyone born a muslim and thus converts are really "reverts"), said about the Rushdie affair at the time: "Whoever defames the Prophet must die."

Where are the "moderates" coming out to counter this? Maybe, just maybe, that's really what this "religion" is all about?

I mean, that's what its leaders and vocal adherents keep saying over and over through the centuries.

If they are all wrong, somehow, then one must be using a funny defintion of "muslim."

Here is Cat Stevens' official statement on the Rushdie affair:
By Yusuf Islam
March 2nd, 1989

Under Islamic Law, the ruling regarding blasphemy is quite clear; the person found guilty of it must be put to death. Only under certain circumstances can repentance be accepted.

On 21st February, I was speaking to a group of students at the Kingston Polytechnic, and in response to a question, I simply stated the Islamic ruling on the Rushdie affair. Suddenly. my picture was splashed on the front page of newspapers all over the world next to the headline: 'Kill Rushdie says Cat Stevens (Bio)'. It is very sad to see such irresponsibility from the 'free press' and I am totally abhorred.

My only crime was, I suppose, in being honest. I stood up and expressed my belief and I am in no way apologizing for it. I expressed the Islamic view based on the Qur'an, the Prophet's sayings (peace and blessings be upon him) and the rulings of the Caliphs and renowned schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
When will people listen to their own ears?

But I digress from my main point. Back to the Somali cleric:
“We call on all Islamic Communities across the world to take revenge on the baseless critic called the pope,” he said.
These ravings would all be ludicrous if not for the fact they are striving with all their might to obtain atomic bombs.

Such devices can only come with the support of a state.

It is a many-headed, but finite, hydra. The list of possible state sources is North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran. Iraq's program, outsourced to Libya, has been shut down, but at a terrible political cost.

The whole list has to be shut down, soon, to stop the otherwise inevitable.
No matter where we started on that list, it's likely the same political cost would be in effect right now.

The central question of our time is: Do we act to pre-empt this list, or sit back and wait to take at least one 10-kt hit (or worse) first?

And, to then have to respond in the face of hyper-proliferation.

If politics has made pre-emption impossible, then politics has ultimately made civilization impossible.

The people trying to gum up the GWOT should worry more about preventing the scenario in which suddenly the only authority is a brigadier general having looters and dissenters shot on the spot.

These thoughts were partly sparked by some comments seen at Belmont Club:
The Mad Fiddler said...
The great thing about a culture that honors freedom is that people are willing to declare where they stand on contentious issues.

This helps identify the idiots.
In Tom Clancy’s novel “The Sum of All Fears” arabs recovered a nuclear warhead from a crashed Israeli jet, and used it to build a terrorist bomb. By the time Hollywood money sensed Clancy’s story as a vehicle for Hotness Ben Affleck, CAIR had waged a vehement and successful campaign to coerce the industry away from depicting Islamic Arabs as terrorists. (Ironic, ain’t it?) Despite that thousands of terrorist acts around the world each year are done by Islamic Jihadists, Hollywood executives didn’t have to look far from their own favorite list of “usual suspects” to replace the Islamic Arabs with NeoNazis.

Well, sure, I accept that NeoNazis can be insane mass murderers.

But that tautology was clarified over six decades ago.

The threat we need to deal with now is that of the resurgent Jihad, which has only been dormant for a time.

Not the threat of a resurgent Reich, but Dar al Islam.

How might things have gone in World War II if Hollywood and the Left had spent the 1930’s striving to convince America that our chief danger was from, say, Quechua fanatics intent on re-establishing Atahualpa’s Inca Empire from out of the mists of time, and not from the Axis powers?
Pyrthroes said...
Just after the Trade Center towers were completed, John McPhee (a prolific writer for The New Yorker) authored "The Curve of Binding Energy". Therein he and a nuclear-weapons engineer instrumental in developing the H-bomb walked the Twin Towers with a waste-basket containing a concealed basketball -- the size of a hydrogen warhead, according to the engineer.

Not once we they accosted or questioned, of course, though neither had made any effort to disguise themselves as businessmen or tenants. But even in the mid-1970s, nuclear terrorism, "proxy war" if you prefer, was very much on certain peoples' minds.

Against this, sorry-- there is no defense.

The civilized world will either take stringent preventive measures NOW, or the basketball will come.

What "measures"? -- well, beginning yesterday, the Nuclear Club is closed.

Any Iranian, North Korean, or other regime found developing a nuclear WMD should be "outlawed" in the classic sense. No diplomatic pussy-footing: The Chief of State and his enablers are terminated by any means; their State scoured for any vestige of fissionable material; regardless of ideological, nationalist, or other yawps, that entity WILL NOT possess the basketball.

"Politically impossible"? Then so is civilization.

Trading in anonymity, nuclear terrorists assume that because their origins are obscure, civilized communities must dither and waffle until culprits are "exposed". Not so. Extortion on this scale is preventable, before catastrophe takes everything down with it. Who grunts and fusses against "imperial hubris" in the face of McPhee's insights going back a generation deserves to perish utterly.

The rest of us need not enslave ourselves to death.
But for short-term political gain, those shackles are being put upon us.

Immigration Raid

Oh, boo-hoo! Look at the spin in this article on an immigration raid:
Immigration raid cripples Ga. town
STILLMORE, Ga. - Trailer parks lie abandoned. The poultry plant is scrambling to replace more than half its workforce. Business has dried up at stores where Mexican laborers once lined up to buy food, beer and cigarettes just weeks ago.
This is meant to horrify us into stopping anti-illegal immigrant raids.

Instead, I am horrified that a whole town could be so infiltrated by illegal foreign invaders as to essentially be foreign territory within our own borders.

It is precisely such towns that should be reformed.
This Georgia community of about 1,000 people has become little more than a ghost town since Sept. 1, when federal agents began rounding up illegal immigrants.

The sweep has had the unintended effect of underscoring just how vital the illegal immigrants were to the local economy.
Vital? More like instrumental -- it was an illegal economy. So this town depended on exploitation, did it? Glad that's been fixed.
More than 120 illegal immigrants have been loaded onto buses bound for immigration courts in Atlanta, 189 miles away. Hundreds more fled Emanuel County. Residents say many scattered into the woods, camping out for days. They worry some are still hiding without food.
The argument that "but we can't deport them all" fails, because many more apparently self-deport when the crackdown starts in earnest.
Last month, the federal government reported that Georgia had the fastest-growing illegal immigrant population in the country. The number more than doubled from an estimated 220,000 in 2000 to 470,000 last year. This year, state lawmakers passed some of the nation's toughest measures targeting illegal immigrants, and Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue last week vowed a statewide crackdown on document fraud.
Seems to be working.
Other than the Crider plant, there isn't much in Stillmore. Four small stores, a coin laundry and a Baptist church share downtown with City Hall, the fire department and a post office. "We're poor but proud," Mayor Marilyn Slater said, as if that is the town motto.

The 2000 Census put Stillmore's population at 730, but Slater said uncounted immigrants probably made it more than 1,000. Not anymore, with so many homes abandoned and the streets practically empty.
You mean illegal aliens.
"This reminds me of what I read about Nazi Germany, the Gestapo coming in and yanking people up," Slater said.
Just bite me. You're exploiting these people economically.
The B&S convenience store, owned by Keith and Regan Slater, the mayor's son and grandson, has lost about 80 percent of its business.

"These people come over here to make a better way of life, not to blow us up," complained Keith Slater, who keeps a portrait of Ronald Reagan on the wall. "I'm a die-hard Republican, but I think we missed the boat with this one."
So they interview the mayor and the mayor's family who run the company store. Of course they're upset their little fiefdom has vanished.

Here is the unintentionally revealing money quote:
The poultry plant has limped along with half its normal workforce. Crider increased its starting wages by $1 an hour to help recruit new workers.
Oh, so your wages were below free-market rates, were they?


That's the real crux of the matter, isn't it?

If poultry costs me a little more for border security and an orderly process of admitting properly documented foreign guest workers -- who aren't part of some exploitive black-market economy -- I'm happy to pay it.

Indeed, I demand to pay it!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Digital Vatican

The Vatican is online.

Looks very interesting! Note the link to the "Vatican Secret Archives" on this page.

Here is the Pope's own page.

Find out how to become a Swiss Guard, serving now for 500 years.

Give Peter's Pence by credit card for the poor.

You can even send e-mail to the Pope at this page, using the link entitled "Greetings to the Holy Father."

The address is [ ].

Pope All Out of Bubblegum

Pope Urban Benedict XVI has caused quite a stir in a number of ways recently.

First, of course, the headline news, which is getting this kind of headline play in the media:
Pope enjoys private time after slamming Islam
Benedict blunder shows he has failed to master media machine
Both from AFP, of course.

Multiple links to the seething response are here.

The cause is this statement:
The pope quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th-century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the pope said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"
Nothing could be plainer nor more true.

It's as true now as it was then.

Well of course the apologists are out in force, saying he couldn't have really meant anything by it. This was a scripted speech, however, and
The Rev. Robert Taft, a specialist in Islamic affairs at Rome's Pontifical Oriental Institute, said it was unlikely the pope miscalculated how some Muslims would receive his speech.

"The message he is sending is very, very clear," Taft said. "Violence in the name of faith is never acceptable in any religion and that (the pope) considers it his duty to challenge Islam and anyone else on this."
Yet, to protest suggestions that islam might be intolerant and violent, muslims are acting out violently the world over:
[German PM Merkel said:] "What Benedict XVI was expressing was his absolute rejection without compromise of any use of violence in the name of religion."

Most Muslims did not see things the same way.

In Gaza City, four small makeshift bombs exploded near the oldest Christian church...
Oh, the irony:
ANKARA, Turkey - A Turkish lawmaker said Pope Benedict XVI would go down in history "in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini" for remarks he made about Islam. Meanwhile, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican's ambassador to express regret over the remarks.

But anger still swept across the Muslim world, with Pakistan's parliament unanimously adopting a resolution condemning the pope for making what it called "derogatory" comments about Islam, and seeking an apology from him.

"Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.
Funny how they never show this kind of outrage at the real and daily atrocities committed in the name of islam.

Actually it's not funny at all; it's perfectly understandable, because jihad terrorism is a central tenet of islam.

But wait, there's more!
In the backlash, some of the more subtle — yet potentially far-reaching — references have been overshadowed.

The speech suggested deep dismay over the current conditions of Christians in the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world, said John Voll, director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington.

"This reflects the intention of Pope Benedict to distinguish himself from his predecessor on his approach to interfaith dialogue," said Voll. "And by this, it means more reciprocity."

Voll said the pope may increasingly instruct Vatican envoys to stress issues of forced conversions of Christians and limits on Christian rights and worship.
Also irritating to them, no doubt, was Benedict XVI referring to Constantinople by its rightful name in his speech, rather than as istanbul.

Looking at the text of the speech, I am also struck at how the Pope also knows about the so-called "peaceful" verses are abrogated!
The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war.
Whenever any islam apologist quotes such verses, they are either ignorant, or are deliberately practicing taqiyya -- the "noble" art of lying in order to deceive the infidel about islam. Because such verses, in all schools of islamic jurisprudence, are abrogated, null, and void.

But then there was the news from behind the scenes.

The Pope is shaking up the top offices of the Vatican hierarchy:
(ANSA) - Vatican City, September 15 - Pope Benedict's remodelling of the Vatican hierarchy neared its completion on Friday as a new secretary of state took office and a 'foreign minister' was appointed.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, 71, until recently the archbishop of Genoa, took over the mantle of secretary of state from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 79, at a simple ceremony held at the pope's summer residence outside Rome.

Benedict thanked Cardinal Sodano for his 15 years of service and referred to his "sadness" at seeing him step down. [oh, that's rich, with what is revealed below! -- ed.] The prelate will keep his role as dean of the college of cardinals and continue to work with several Vatican departments.

Cardinal Bertone, who worked as the pope's deputy at the Vatican doctrinal department for eight years, now becomes the second most powerful person in the Vatican after Benedict himself.

He will be in charge of all the political and diplomatic activities of the Holy See.
But the other appointment announced on Friday was also crucial for the Vatican's role in world affairs .

It saw 54-year-old Monsignor Dominque Mamberti, apostolic nuncio in Sudan and Eritrea, tapped for the post which is similar to that of foreign minister in a national government.
Given current tensions between the Islamic world and the West, Mamberti's experience in several countries with large Muslim populations may have been one of the reasons for his appointment.
This is huge, because Sodano had been a thorn in Benedict's . See this article from just 6 months ago for all the backstabbing and controversy:
Step by step, with a few well-aimed decisions, Benedict XVI has already expunged two of the bastions in the curia that were opposed to him: the Congregation for the Liturgy, with the appointment as secretary of an archbishop of Sri Lanka in his trust, Albert M. Ranjith Patabendige Don, and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, with Fitzgerald’s dismissal as president.
Fitzgerald was too touchy-feely with islam, it seems:
Benedict XVI has also brought about a correction of the previous Vatican line in regard to Islam. In removing archbishop Fitzgerald from the curia, the pope has said the last word on the symposia that he loved to organize with Muslim leaders like sheikh Yussef-Al-Qaradwi or the heads of Al-Azhar, who signed ceremonious appeals for peace with the Vatican and then, the next day, inflamed the crowds by exalting holy war and the suicide terrorists.
But back to Sodano:
And now everyone in the curia is waiting – or fearing – for the next blow to fall against the secretariat of state, with the retirement on account of age of its senior office holder, cardinal Angelo Sodano.

Sodano, 78 years old, from Isola d’Asti in Piedmont, seems to have no intention of leaving.
But now he's out.

Aus mit!

Not a moment too soon:
Among the new cardinals chosen by the pope, there are personalities who constitute a living contradiction of the ecclesiastical geopolitics dear to the secretary of state.

For example, Sodano has always pursued a very submissive policy with China, in agreement with the most pro-Chinese of the cardinals in the curia, Roger Etchegaray of France, the author of a book on this subject that is almost utterly silent on the oppression of which Christians are the victims in that country.

Sodano once said that, in order to establish diplomatic relations with China, he was ready to move the Vatican nunciature from Taipei to Beijing “not tomorrow, but this very evening.” This statement provoked great irritation among the persecuted Chinese Catholics, and in particular with the combative bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, according to whom religious liberty should come before any sort of diplomatic accommodation.
The change of course desired by Benedict XVI also draws the Church closer to Israel. Sodano was a great admirer of Yasser Arafat, and is a supporter of the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, who is ardently pro-Palestinian. But pope Ratzinger immediately flanked Sabbah with a more moderate auxiliary who will succeed him in two years, Fouad Twal of Jordan, previously the archbishop of Tunis. And is planning to appoint as the bishop of the Hebrew Christians who live in the state of Israel the present custodian of the Holy Land, Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who is viewed very favorably by the Israeli authorities.
Not just Sodano's politics, but his morals are also in question. Can anyone doubt his being the second in command at the Vatican was a huge part of the sexual abuse candals with this revelation?
With him [Sodano] gone, also gone will be a barrier to a decision on the fate of the powerful founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel, with whom Sodano is very close. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has completed a thoroughly detailed preliminary investigation of the accusations against Maciel – sexual abuse of his seminarians and violation of the sacrament of confession.

Last Good Friday, shortly before he was elected pope, Ratzinger indicated this sort of “filth” as one of the evils that must be eliminated from the Church.
Yep, sure looks like the Pope is all out of bubblegum.

Australia Leading The Way

Fair Dinkum!
SYDNEY (AFP) - Migrants to Australia would have to pass an English language test to prove they were "fair dinkum" (genuine) about fitting into society Down Under, Prime Minister John Howard has said.
Under the proposed changes, which will be officially unveiled in a government discussion paper Sunday, migrants will also have to demonstrate a knowledge of Australian history.

Howard, who has spoken at length in recent weeks about the need for Muslim migrants to integrate into Australian society, said people who genuinely wanted to fit in would have no problem with the government's blueprint.

"Certainly we are going to lift the waiting period to four years, there will be a fairly firm English language requirement and the paper itself ... will contain quite a number of issues," he said.

"It won't become more difficult if you're fair dinkum, and most people who come to this country are fair dinkum about becoming part of the community.

And what about the opposition?
The opposition Labor Party leader Kim Beazley weighed into the debate this week when he suggested migrants and tourists should sign a declaration saying they support Australian values before they could get a visa.

The values cited by Beazley included freedom, democracy, respect for women and "mateship".
The islamists will surely have trouble with those.

That even goes further, for tourists!

We should do the same with our visas.

Looks like they're on the same page in squashing multiculturalism to preserve Australia's identity.

Only the Green Party (or is that Watermelon Party -- Green on the outside, Red on the inside?) is opposed.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Taliban in Trouble

Canadian forces in Afghanistan seem to have a large Taliban force surrounded:
NATO's commander in southern Afghanistan, Canadian Brig.-Gen. David Fraser, toured the front lines yesterday and said NATO has no intention of allowing the Taliban to escape.

"We've got the Taliban surrounded," Fraser said. "We don't want to squeeze them out. We're around them, and they've got choices to make."

Lavoie says the Taliban are engaging in a "last stand" in the symbolically important birthplace of the movement.

A defeat could have national implications, he said.

Front-line officers expect much tougher days ahead, with hard-core Taliban elements dug in, well-armed and waiting for the final NATO push toward the Arghandab River.

Caught A Big Prize?

UPDATE: might just be a top guy, not the top guy (Hekmatyar) of this group.


Not sure this is thoroughly confirmed yet, but news of a major capture in Afghanistan today:
On the day of the fifth anniversary of the 9-11 attack, Coalition forces score a high value target in Afghanistan. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the commander of Hezb-i-Islami and ally of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, has been captured during a joint U.S. and Afghan Army raid in “eastern Afghanistan.” Hekmatyar, contrary to his rhetoric gave up to the Coalition forces without a fight. Hekmatyar's arrest is said to be part of an 'ongoing operation.'
Hekmatyar had deep ties to Iran and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, and is said to have facilitated the movement of high level al-Qaeda leaders, including Saif al-Adel and Said bin Laden, into Iran with the assistance of the IRGC.

The capture of Hekmatyar is a major blow to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, as it provides an opportunity to split his organization. HIG is considered one of the major Anti-Government Elements (or AGEs) in Afghanistan. And Hekmatyar may be privy to valuable information about the location of high level al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders.

This seems to be part of Operation Medusa, now in its tenth day, which has so far sent over 500 Taliban freaks to hell.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Children

Five years ago tomorrow, I saw Christine Hanson murdered on live TV by islamic jihadists.

At two years old, on her way to Disneyland, she was the youngest victim of the attacks.

I had turned on the tv a few minutes before 9 am to see how the stock market futures were shaping up, to see the live feed of the Twin Towers, one of them already belching smoke.

One of the CNBC anchors was trying to hint around that maybe it wasn't an accident, but he wasn't willing to directly say the "T" word.

The other anchor wasn't understanding what the first one was trying to get at.

Then we all saw Christine Hanson's flight lance into the other tower in a ball of fire, and there was no doubt.

Other children on that plane were David Brandhorst, 3, and Juliana Valentine McCourt, 4.

Children on the other flights were sisters Zoe and Dana Falkenberg (8 and 3), as well as students Bernard Brown, Asia Cottom, and Rodney Dickens, aged 11, on a special educational field trip.

I know what killed you.

I don't have to vow to never forget; I couldn't if I tried.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Big Lies

Wretchard at Belmont Club has some fascinating thoughts on how mightily the media and certain pundits are trying to declare defeat in Iraq, in order to make it so, in spite of actual facts on the ground:
Commitment and adaptability
Global Guerrillas argues that Washington is now flogging itself over it's inability to mimic Babe Ruth, who famously pointed to the stands to indicate where he was going to hit a homer:

We are now at the start of a long process of rationalization over the US defeat in Iraq.

A world which has just declared the IDF defeated by Iran and Syria simply by acting at a distance through Hezbollah, might want to spare a thought at how these same countries have been unable to prevent the fall of Saddam -- a regime greater than Syria's -- the establishment of an internationally recognized government of Iraq and the creation of a multdivisional indigenous security force right on their borders.

But whatever the situation the field, Global Guerillas is surely right in highlighting the disappointment among some policymakers in the failure to carry out the prescribed plan from 2003. The possibility that one might have to adapt or persist in war may not have occurred to people whose management paradigm is meeting budgets and tracking milestones.
But that is little to the point. A new Iraqi government, it's fledgling army and the thousands of Iraqis who've bet their life on working for the Americans are things to be thrown away like a toy on Christmas that has failed to meet a child's lofty expectations.
He adds some further thoughts in the comment section as well:
wretchard said...
When Vietnam was being declared a defeat, various neighboring countries, like Thailand and Singapore, realized that they had been saved by US action. For them it was an unmistakeable victory.

When Douglas McArthur strode away in disgust from Congress after delivering his valedictory, he little realized he had secured the existence of South Korea into virtual perpetuity and condemned the North to a future of misery.
Objectively speaking even the worst defeat is alloyed with victory. And the most talented commanders are capable of noticing where they are winning even when they are "losing" and leveraging those elements to the eventual advantage. Mao was one; Nasrallah possibly another. Unfortunately the modern West cannot even distinguish victory from defeat, perhaps because they've never really felt its sting over the last 60 years.

What we call defeat is one we arbitrate ourselves. But a civilization that has the luxury to "decide" whether it has been defeated is really judging various shades of victory. Defeat becomes the process of rejecting the less than awesome in the way a gourmet refuses the imperfect strawberry.

Any civilization that can deliver a judgment on itself in calm university meetings complete with coffee and cake; on television talk shows with hairstyled participants and daily newspapers on first-rate newsprint is by definition a civilization which has the safety in which to concern itself with whether it should declare defeat or victory today.

Real defeat is an unmistakeable experience.

When actually present there is as much need to recognize it as there is to acknowledge a shark which is detaching your leg. It will be too obvious for words.

Real defeat is felt by the beaten even when every newspaper, broadcast program and pamphlet is declaring victory; and not as so often happens today, the opposite.

A defeat which has to be announced in paid ads, predicted by movies, announced on roadshows and recited like a mantra in print must be a very weak sort of devil, one we might not notice had our betters not had the kindness to point it out.
A reader adds:
allen said...
Not since 1865 has America tasted its own blood and ashes. Not since then have Americans had to consider the real possibility of societal extinction. Yes, we had our terrible arithmetic in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam; however, in no case was the enemy at our door or was eventual victory in doubt.

In this war, whatever it is, and the enemy, who ever he may be, is one weapon system away from doing irreparable systemic damage. Our good fortune has blinded us to the possibility of crippling harm.

Indeed, the barbarians may well enter Rome to find the Senate in session, oblivious to reality.
Responding to a pessimistic left-wing dove, wretchard continues with this scathing rebuke:
Yet subtly, without anyone noticing, in the years between World War 2 and today the Press has acquired the power to be the arbiter of any great public enterprise and in particular to declare defeat or victory in war. Vietnam was the first clear exercise of that power. It is jealously guarded to this day.

To effect this all the old metrics first had to be declared invalid.

No longer could the destruction of the enemy's armies, the capture of his capital, the occupation of his territory, the fugitive life of the opposition, the absence of meaningful retaliation be entered as evidence of victory.

Today these count for nothing.

Organizations like Hezbollah were the first to realize that a sea change had taken place. What took place on the battlefield ran a poor second to what was shown on TV screens. In fact, the battlefield could be ignored altogether if suitably doctored images could be procured for exhibition.

The press set the rules of evidence within their tribunal.

Did you establish an elected government? It's not a liberal, secular multicultural government! Did you say losses are lower than any war in history? They should be zero! Did you say America has not been attacked in five years? That would have happened any way and especially if you had left it all to the UN!

Coalition losses are counted and recounted. No one even bothers to tally the enemy's. Not that it can't be known. It's that it has no relevance.

Has the plan been changed from the original? Then it will be described as "the Pentagon has been forced to admit" ... "in the face of mounting evidence" ... "despite assurances by the President" ... "in contrast to overoptimistic planning". Adaptability a vice in us, a virtue in the enemy.

Because only by choosing a moment in time can things be compared to a perfect instant; can we find for guilt against a bill of impossible particulars and like Gatsby, object to the kiss if unaccompanied by the tuning fork upon a star.
Embracing the Big Lie is seductive because humans are social animals with a desire to conform.

Don't fall for it.


Punish Me, Part 1.

I recall seeing a telling incident caught on tape by a documenter of 9/11 and its aftermath.

A day or two or three after the attacks, two impromptu rallies developed in Union Square, Manhattan.

One was meant as a spontaneous morale-boosting, patriotic display of pride and defiance of the enemy. Its main spokesman was a simple man I'll call "blue-collar guy", who had been shaken from working to recover bodies at Ground Zero.

The other rally, led by a young, hip, well-educated urban black woman with attitude, whom I'll call "Marxist chick", was in essence a reveling in the concept of "you had it coming, whitey."

Note, in passing, the lack of identification with the country as a whole by Marxist Chick. But don't question her patriotism!

Obviously these two rallies were going to come into some conflict.

Some shouting developed.

How was it resolved?

Did the patriots run off the disloyal scoundrels?


Blue-Collar Guy was not as articulate as Marxist Chick. He hadn't spent a lifetime memorizing talking points. His rally had been instinctual, and a necessary balm for the work yet left to be done.

Marxist Chick and her people firmly pronounced his guilt.

And who can disagree with an angry black women crying "racism!" without being branded a racist?

In the end, Blue-Collar Guy was forced to disavow any feelings of anger at an external enemy, and was reduced to admitting that yes, Marxist Chick had a point; she and her people had been Victims.

This gave them moral authority.

And he was sorry, and felt her pain.

And, having to do the hard work at Ground Zero, he admitted he was just a Victim too, like everyone else, but of another sort.

Not a Hero, rallying in defiance of an enemy attack.

But just another class of Victim, in a hierarchy of Victims -- and somewhat lower on the totem pole than Marxist Chick.

For there were no real outside enemies -- just various oppressors within our own culture.

Now with Blue-Collar Guy emasculated and accepted into the social fold, the confrontation ended with "can't we Victims all just get along?" and hugs all around.

In the end, Blue-Collar Guy loved Big Brother.

We can't keep falling for this.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


The fundamental problem we face is that not only does islam desire to mete out severe punishment, but also that half of the West deeply desires to be punished.

Subsequent posts will provide numerous examples to prove the diagnosis.

Then we can figure out a cure.

That doesn't kill the patient.